Caribbean out of Olympics amateur boxing
By Michael DaSilva
June 25, 2004
No Caribbean nation, including Guyana, will compete in amateur boxing at the 2004 Athens Olympics, which gets underway in August.
Reporting on Guyana's performance at the recently- concluded Caribbean Amat-eur Boxing Association's (CABA) championships in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) President KA Juman-Yassin disclosed yesterday that no boxer from the region have qualified for the Athens Olympics.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Juman-Yassin said that at the CABA meeting held during the championships in Trinidad, GABA moved a resolution that in the future, one place in each weight category of the Pan American and Olympic Games should be given to the Caribbean.
He pointed out that at present to qualify for either of the two games mentioned, boxers from the region have to compete in box-offs that see boxers from countries like the USA and Cuba dominating and this makes it difficult for the regional boxers to qualify.
According to Juman-Yassin, the GABA resolution was accepted at the CABA meeting and is to be sent to the world body AIBA. He said CABA comprises all English-speaking countries as well as some non-English speaking countries, and has a membership of 20 countries "so that's 20 votes, and if we use our numbers, we will be heard."
Juman-Yassin said three of the local boxers - Rudolph Fraser, James Walcott and Lennox Allen - that were selected for the last Olympic box-off, have now joined the professional ranks because the GABA was unable to find the finances to send them to the box-off.
This prevented Guyana from winning the overall team championship at the recently- concluded CABA championships, he said. "They are experienced fighters and their presence would have made a difference at the championships."
Guyana and Trinidad tied for the overall championship honours. Both countries ended on 30 points each.
Juman-Yassin also bemoaned the absence of Paul Lewis from the team. According to him, Lewis, whose name was submitted by the Guyana Olympic Association as a wild card entry for the Athens Games only attended training sessions once. "We [GABA] were asked to select a boxer for the wild card and so we selected Lewis but he only attended training sessions once and so the GOA requested that AIBA take his name off the wild card draw."
Juamn-Yassin said GABA had to submit a new name but did not. "He [Lewis] has really disappointed me."